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Avoid registration problems by obtaining overprint control

Added on Wednesday 2nd of November 2011 05:11 am EST

by Michelle Dick
Adobe Photoshop CS2/CS3/CS4/CS5
Operating Systems:
Macintosh, Microsoft Windows


I have recently received a request from a newspaper to which I submit ad artwork. They are asking me to “overprint” my black text to keep it from knocking out the background. I do these ads in Photoshop because it gives me the greatest flexibility and access to “special effects” that I sometimes like to use. However, I have not been able to find how I can set a color to overprint using Photoshop. Can you tell me how to do it?


Overprinting is the process of printing transparent inks on top of each other—as opposed to knocking out one color for another. For example, when you print a cyan ink over a yellow ink, the resulting overprint color is green. The order that the inks are printed, and variations in the inks and paper, can significantly affect the final print results.

For the most part, overprinting is primarily used for black, particularly black text. By overprinting black, you can avoid almost all registration problems. Unfortunately, black alone isn’t always dark enough to cover ...


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